Home > News > FCC Ponders Digital Cable Petition • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


FCC Ponders Digital Cable Petition

FCC Ponders Digital Cable Petition
Get XBIZ News
Jan 28, 2005 6:04 AM PST    Text size: 
WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission has found itself in the midst of a fiery debate between cable broadcasters and cable operators over the future of digital and high-definition broadcasting.

The issue centers around a "must-carry" rule that would go into effect once 85 percent of U.S. homes can receive digital streams, at which point broadcasters must return their analog channel to the U.S. government.

And while an 85 percent digital saturation point is still nearly a decade away, the FCC, cable operators and broadcasters are already butting heads over laying the groundwork for faster adoption of digital programming.

Current law dictates that cable operators must carry a broadcaster's primary channel, but the advent of digital television has allowed many broadcasters to branch out and offer a more diverse selection of digital channels or one HDTV channel.

The must-carry rule is aimed at something known as "multicasting," in which broadcasters parcel off digital content into numerous channels in addition to maintaining their original channels.

In opposition to several other FCC Commissioners, Chairman Michael Powell is throwing his weight behind cable operators who argue against having to carry the extra channels, claiming that the law only requires them to transmit the broadcaster's primary channel.

Cable operators also argue that the must-carry rule favors broadcast programming over cable-generated programming.

Several years ago the FCC ruled that cable carriers were only required to carry digital transmissions that "most resembled" a broadcasters original analog channel.

But according to groups like the National Association of Broadcasters, multicasting is essential for consumers to receive the full benefits of digital and high-definition television.

"It is vitally important for cable systems to carry all signals offered by local TV stations," said NAB President and CEO Edward O. Fritts said. "NAB will continue to strongly advocate this position as the FCC deliberates this issue."

According to reports, 491 broadcast stations are currently multicasting out of 1,700 broadcast stations.

The FCC will vote on the must-carry rule by Feb. 10.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


‘Alternative Facts’ of PC vs. Mac Users

Now that we live in a world of “alternative facts” it feels like somehow everyone has become a little more critical about what information and data they are digesting, and where it came from. Don’t... More »

Putting a Dollar Figure on Your Website's Worth

Daily, I get asked the question, “what’s my website worth.” And it’s the hardest question for me to answer. Someone will go to my website and fill out the contact form, put in... More »

New Solutions Require a Bullheadedness, Different Process

Each January we lead a small group of industry leaders on a tour of the crazy innovations at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. It’s a grind on our bodies. We all train for it beforehand.... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.



Mar 31 - Apr 02
Denver, CO.

Eurowebtainment 2017

May 17 - May 20
Majorca, Spain

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!